Teamwork is essential for optimal business productivity. Creativity thrives when employees work together. Several voices lead to increased learning opportunities, which can sharpen employees' minds. Few organizations can succeed solely on the efforts of one or two key individuals; the secret to success can often be found in blending complementary strengths. Teamwork can also instill a broader sense of ownership of contributions, accomplishments and setbacks.

All of these benefits of teamwork and more are easier for organizations to realize, thanks to unified communications. Communication tools such as unified communications software and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) enable levels of collaboration that once seemed impossible. From remote work opportunities to the ability to streamline workflows and processes, unified communications arms companies with agility and connectivity. Of all the available channels for collaboration, however, team messaging apps may be the most effective at improving efficiencies while enabling collaboration.

A Brief History of Team Messaging Apps

You likely have heard of or used a modern team messaging app, such as Slack, which is one of the most popular team collaboration platforms today. Before workers flocked to Slack channels, however, there were many precursors to modern messaging. E-mail, of course, emerged in the workplace in the early 1990s and continued as a popular business messaging tool. In the mid-to-late 1990s, however, ICQ, the first centralized, stand-alone instant messenger came out. Early online behemoth AOL acquired the tech, creating a revolution in office and personal messaging. Microsoft and Google each rolled out their own messaging apps and platforms over the next decade, but it wasn't until the launch of iOS and Android in 2007 and 2008 that messaging entered its present golden age.

Apple created a powerful messaging ecosystem in 2011 with its iMessage platform. As of 2017, Apple users send over 6 trillion messages each day. In 2013, Slack created its popular workplace messaging platform, which today has over 8 million daily users. Today's businesses use not only Slack but a host of other messaging tools, such as Microsoft Teams, which a recent survey noted as overtaking Slack in popularity.

Bringing Team Messaging Apps Together With Unified Communications

No matter what team messaging tools your organization uses, it is important to integrate messaging with other aspects of daily workflow. Part of the reason for the popularity of Slack and Microsoft Teams is how they enable collaboration, not just communication. This is a key differentiation between AOL's Instant Messenger, which was for the most part limited to person-to-person chatting, and modern tools that combine chatting with file sharing, and other features that one might find in project management software. More importantly, though, team messaging apps create environments that are less boring, encouraging freer thought and contribution from more team members.

While team messaging apps are beneficial on their own for an organization, incorporating them into unified communications multiplies their effect. One of the main benefits of Slack of Microsoft Teams is how each of these platforms creates an ecosystem of sorts for collaboration. But this ecosystem can thrive in other areas of an organization through the use of unified communications. Team messaging apps are great for collaboration but are not intended for customer-facing communication. When work requires seamlessly transitioning from team messaging to customer communication, unified communications tools enable the process.

8x8's Team Messaging is a complete solution for instant collaboration that combines teamwork with unified communications. 8x8's solution functions as its own team messaging app, with a rich environment that simplifies connections. Here are some of the numerous benefits of 8x8's team messaging solution:

  • Cross-team messaging capability
  • Fast file uploading for easy sharing
  • Starting or joining a meeting from within a conversation
  • Sharing across messaging platforms

Also, while 8x8's proprietary team messaging app is feature-rich, it also integrates with all popular messaging platforms including Google Hangouts, IRC, Slack, Skype, and more. This feature helps teams that already have their app of choice be able to better collaborate across channels, rather than asking employees, team members and outside collaborators to adopt a new service that might reduce productivity due to training and onboarding requirements. With 8x8's Team Messenger, your organization can benefit from the evolution of office collaboration tools.

Collaboration is key to the success of any business. Whether you are using the Virtual Office Mobile app or the 8x8 Virtual Office desktop app, 8x8 makes collaboration quick and simple. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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